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07 August, 2012

10 Must Visit Attractions in Shanghai

Shanghai is the largest as well as the most developed city in China and has a population of close to 23 million. Shanghai is located at the mouth of Yangtze River and is a major financial center of China. This city has lots of visitor attractions as it has lots of historical landmarks. Shanghai is nicknamed as “showpiece” of China.

City God Temple

One of the altars of the City God Temple, Shanghai

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City God Temple also called as “Chenghuang Miao” is not only a huge temple complex, but also a place where you will find lots of shops selling almost every traditional product of China. This temple was constructed to dedicate for Jinshan or the “Gold Mountain.” The temple has three main deities called Huo Gang (a famous Han dynasty emperor), Qin Yubo (who served in Yuan Dynasty) and Chen Huacheng (a Qing Dynasty general). The famous Yuyuan Garden of Shanghai is connected with the City God Temple.

Jade Buddha Temple

The front view of Jade Buddha Temple
Jade Buddha Temple, one can know from the name that it is a Buddhist temple was founded in 1882 and has 2 jade Buddha statues; one statue is a sitting Buddha and the other one is a reclining Buddha (a smaller statue). Reclining Buddha statue represents the death of Buddha. The temple contains the following: 
  • Chamber of Heavenly Kings – contains statues of Wei Tuo, Bodhisattva, Maitreya and the Four Heavenly Kings. 
  • Grand Hall or Great Hall – contains 3 Golden Buddhas, 18 unique golden arhats, Gods of Twenty Heavens and Guanyin and Shen Cai with their 53 teachers. 
  • Jade Buddha Chamber, public restaurants and a Buddhist library.

Jing’an Temple

The front view of Jing'an Temple

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Jing’an Temple is yet again a Buddhist temple built in 247 AD. Jing’an means “Temple of Peace and Tranquility;” one can surely experience this when visiting this famous Buddhist temple. The temple was originally built beside Suzhou Creek; it was later moved to West Nanjing Road (the current site). This temple has three main halls, jade Buddha Hall with a jade Buddha statue, Abbot’s Chambers, a copper bell of Ming Dynasty, etc. This temple is opened for visitors between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm daily except on Buddhist holidays; an entrance fee is to be paid to visit the temple.

Longhua Temple

Longhua Temple, finest architectural example of Song Dynasty

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Longhua Temple is one of the finest architectural examples of Song dynasty and is dedicated to Maitreya Buddha. It is one of the city’s largest ancient temple complexes, which was constructed in 242 AD; there are various stories around the construction of the building. There are various buildings inside the temple, which includes: 
  • Maitreya Hall with Maitreya Buddha statue
  • Heavenly King Hall with Four Heavenly Kings statues
  • Grand Hall with historical Buddha statue
  • Three Stages Hall housing Amitabha Buddha, Buddhistava, and Mahasthamaprapta
  • Abbot’s Hall
  • Bell Tower
  • Drum Tower
  • Library consists of works of Buddha, his sutras, the ceremonial instruments, and various artifacts and antiques.
Jin Mao Tower

Jin Mao Tower, the fifth tallest building in the world by roof height
Jin Mao Tower is an 88-storey skyscraper in Shanghai city, China and is the worlds’ fifth tallest building by roof height. This tower boasts of having Shanghai Grand Hyatt Hotel (occupies floors from 53 to 87) as its occupant. Jin Mao Tower is a must visit place if you are looking for good restaurants, nightclubs, and shopping malls. The entire 88 floors are divided into 16 segments where each of these segments is 1/8 shorter than the 16-storey base. Chinese consider number 8 as lucky as it symbolizes prosperity; this building too revolves around this number.

Oriental Pearl Tower

Oriental Pearl Tower, AAAAA (5A) scenic area by China National Tourism Administration
Oriental Pearl Tower is a TV tower and one among the significant landmarks of Shanghai, China. This once holds the record of being the tallest tower in China. According to China National Tourism Administration, this area is classified as AAAAA (5A) scenic area; this is the highest rating given by the tourism administration. This rating is given based on various criteria including the site’s importance, transportation available, cleanliness, sanitation, etc. The tower contains 11 big and small towers and a total of 15 observation levels. The sightseeing floor is at 263 meters. This tower has a revolving restaurant. It is believed that the tower was designed based on a verse of a poem called Pipa Song from the Tang dynasty; however, the designer has said that he didn’t have this song in mind when he decided the design of the tower.

The Bund

The Bund, at night, a place to see various architectural styles
The Bund is one of the most well-known visitor attractions of Shanghai, China; it is a waterfront area and the height of the buildings is restricted here. This is one of the must see places in Shanghai if you are interested in visiting historical buildings. There is a total of 52 buildings in “The Bund” and these boasts of various architectural styles like Gothic, Renaissance, Art Deco, Romanesque, Baroque, etc. One can find lots of banks and financial institutions along “The Bund.”

Wen Miao

Wen Miao, Shanghai Confucian Temple

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Wen Miao is a Shanghai Confucian Temple, built to pay homage to Confucius. Wen Miao Lu was once a fishing village and it is believed that the temple was first founded by Yuan dynasty; it is also said that the temple went so many renovations. There is a market outside the temple; this is opened every Sunday morning.

Yuyuan Garden

Yuyuan Gardens mean "Garden of Happiness" or "Garden of Peace"
Yuyuan Garden is also called as the Yu Garden, meaning “Garden of Happiness” or “Garden of Peace.” It is a Chinese garden with a centerpiece made of exquisite Jade Rock. This is considered to be the largest garden of its era (Ming Dynasty) in Shanghai. It is a 5-acre garden and is divided into six areas; each of these areas is separated by a dragon wall.

Zhujiajiao Water Town

Zhujiajiao Water Town, a must visit place in Shanghai to witness ancient buildings
Zhujiajiao is a small water town with a population of roughly 60,000 people and is believed to be 1,700 years old. One can witness the ancient buildings along the river banks of the city. As the name suggests, it is a water town and therefore, the transportation is through boats. One can enjoy authentic Chinese cuisine in this water town. This consists of various bridges, Kezhi garden and Yuanjin Buddhist temple. You can also shop till you drop at Zhujiajiao Water Town.


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